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pin098 Effexor Withdrawal Effects - Is this normal?


pin098

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 Ive been on Effexor XR for 7-8 years for OCD/Anxiety and ive decided on want to go off of it because it makes me so sleepy and causes me issues that I cannot explain.

 

Currently I am down to a 1/4 of a 37.5mg tablet and I am having bad cognition problems. My problems are:

 

Simple math is worse

Simple writing is worse

Spelling is worse

I cant remember what worse mean at times

My reading is worse. When I read i cant understand or retain the information. 

Memory is worse

Trouble organizing my writing

Head/brain feel empty

Cant think

 

 

Now, when i take my effexor these symptoms subside and everything gets better. Im assuming this is due to reducing and trying to stop the medication. Has anyone had issues like this when stopping and antidepressants? Any help is appreciated as I dont know if I have permanent damage or this will go away. I wish I would have never taken this drug. I now refer to it as poison

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  • Administrator

Welcome, pin.

 

I moved your posts here to start your Intro topic.

 

You are having typical withdrawal symptoms. If I were you, I would stop tapering now and stay at 1/4 tablet for a good while, to let your nervous system settle down. Depending on what happens over the next week or two, you may wish to increase the dosage.

 

After your symptoms go away, you can taper off later.

 

How long have you been tapering?

 

Please read

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Oh my, I had forgotten those symptoms! I haven't felt completely dumb for a while!  

Don't worry, they'll pass. Take it easy.

My history:
Escitalopram 5-10mg 2006-2008

Fluoxetine 40mg 2008-2010
Venlafaxine 150mg 2010 - December 2014
I tapered off very quickly:
1. week 75mg
2. week 35,5mg
3. week 17mg
4. week 8,5mg
5. week none

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Welcome 'Pin'

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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  • 2 months later...

Welcome, pin.

 

I moved your posts here to start your Intro topic.

 

You are having typical withdrawal symptoms. If I were you, I would stop tapering now and stay at 1/4 tablet for a good while, to let your nervous system settle down. Depending on what happens over the next week or two, you may wish to increase the dosage.

 

After your symptoms go away, you can taper off later.

 

How long have you been tapering?

 

Please read

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

Hi, thanks for responding. I have been off all meds for 8 weeks. My agitation and anxiety aren't that bad, but I'm still having problems with structuring my writing, basic math, memory issues, remembering what words mean, etc...

 

My brain feels funny. I dont have brain zaps. It just feels like my brain is missing something and it feels hollow or something. I cant really describe it. 

 

I am almost ready to give up on trying to come off these meds because it is taking so long and ruining my life.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pin,

 

Are you off all meds?  If so, you may want to reinstate a low dose, hold until you are stablised and then commence a slow 10% taper (of the previous dose).

 

The idea of tapering is to give your brain a chance to adapt.  The following might help you understand what is happening to your brain.  Brain Remodelling and Healing from Antidepressants

 

Also, it will help if you put your withdrawal history in your signature.

 

I hope this helps.  CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Administrator

pin, how did you finally go off Effexor?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Pin,

 

I am on the same journey as you. I have been off of Effexor for 8 weeks now after a slow taper over a year. My only symptom left is the brain fog. I recently started Neurofeedback which I hope is helping to rewire my brain with no side effects (for me). My irritability us subsided with the Neurofeedback and every session I go to is starting to help with my brain fog.

 

I have almost given up too - but stick with it!! There is light on the other end of tunnel. I am still having bad days BUT this week I have started to have good days too. You have made it this far, you can do it!!! I am determined I will get out on the other side. Mind over matter!

 

I highly recommend looking into the Neurofeedback - I have the exact same symptoms as you & I beleive it is helping me "get my brain back". I have done 6 sessions now & after my latest one yesterday, I woke up feeling better. My reflexes are coming back & my ability to think about even the simpleist decision (I was struggling with the smallest of decisions).

 

Don't forget your brain has to re train itself without that drug (I think it is poison now too) - it takes time, but it's not impossible. Set goals & stick with them, the mind is a powerful thing.

I was on 75mg of Effexor for over 10 years - I slowly tapered down to 0 & have been off since the last week of October 2015. I have used several holistic approaches along my journey: Naturopath, Neurofeedback, massage therapy, chiropractor, teas, supplements, exercise, nutrition to name a few

 

My introduction post:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10478-sarahleo-my-story-on-coming-off-of-effexor/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

HI Pin, 

 

Yes to those symptoms - even now my sudoku game is so bad that 87% of folks are faster than me!  And I make a lot of errors.  

 

Yes, I had trouble finishing a thought, articulating myself, reaching for words, concentrating, easily distracted, forgetful, always losing things, losing a train of thought mid-sentence, etc.  That was early days of protracted withdrawal from  Effexor last year.  I hate to say that it ended up getting much worse, with the emotional stuff coming on great guns many months out.  Anxiety and depression like I'd never experienced before in my life.  Feelings of doom, unbelievable insomnia with racing, troubling thoughts, feelings of being better off gone, etc.  And the worst part was, I didn't know I was in protracted withdrawal because I was also entering menopause and thought it all had something to do with that.  I had insane sweating, heart palpitations, burning skin sensations at night, increased BP and pulse.  Never did have brain zaps, oddly.  I have had body zaps over the years, though.

 

My p-doc reinstated the Effexor after mirtazapine failed to work alone, so now I am on both; it was about 10 months out from jumping off.  I was lucky that it worked; within an hour I felt the clouds lifting!  But that was 37.5 mg, and had I known about WD, I'd have started smaller.  Now I have a lot farther to go to come off.

 

The mirt helped me sleep but has caused me to gain weight, so I am tapering that one primarily, while nudging the venlafaxine down a little here and a little there.  Because of what I have learned here, the taper has gone very well, with mild wd symptoms now and again but very tolerable.

 

My cognitive issues are better than they were last fall, but I still have issues and worry that being on Ven 12 years has really messed with my brain. I am clumsy, drop things easily, have trouble grasping objects, and my hand strength has really declined.  Just the other day I was weighing my beads, and I have to keep double checking the scale with the 10 g weight.  Well, I kept dropping the danged weight!  I also kept scattering beads because I would try to pick up the little weigh pan and then fumble it!  Stuff like that, driving me nuts!

 

I know you are already 8 weeks out, but I strongly encourage you to reinstate a small amount and then do a much more gradual taper from there.  I only say this because I fear that the worst of withdrawal has yet to hit you.  The emotional fallout is truly awful.  There are many people coming on this forum already in protracted withdrawal and feeling hopeless and even suicidal; they have reached the place I was with my withdrawal this spring.  You might think that you can handle it, that you'll go into it knowing and so can hang in there, but believe me, when you are there, neuro-emotions trick you and you are not the same person anymore.

 

I'm sorry that you feel like giving up on going off because it is taking so long and ruining your life.  That is the madness of these drugs.  People find it easier to just keep taking them because it is such madness coming off.  That is just so wrong!  

 

There is no failure in reinstating a small amount, though, so that you can get back to some form of normalcy and functionality and can go on living your life while then doing an incredibly slow taper.   You have to be a snake charmer with this drug!  But you can do it.  

 

You were having major cognitive problems at 1/4 of  37.5 mg back in September.  You jumped off at what point, the end of September?  I would say you never got completely stable at the 1/4 before jumping off , or at least didn't get stable long enough before jumping off.  And each time you went off by 1/4 you were doing a 50% cut of the previous dose, way too much for the brain to handle.  You could try reinstating half of 37.5 mg now and see how that makes you feel.   From there, after stabilizing, you would then do a 10% schedule.  So reinstate at 17.25 mg, hold for a bit, and then reduce by 1.7 mg for a month.  The following month you would reduce by 1.5 mg (15.55 mg previous dose).  

 

We are about getting off the drugs, but sometimes reinstatement is the most sane thing to do, followed by a more comfortable and acceptable taper to get off.

 

SG

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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pin, how did you finally go off Effexor?

What I did was work from 75mg to 37.5mg. This was easy. Then, since I was taking XR, I switched to the immediate release because the lowest dose of XR comes in capsule at 37.5mg. The immediate release comes in tablets and is easier to reduce. I went down by halves each time. From 37.5 to 17 and so forth. I did think until I was on a sliver of Effexor. Then I was still having issues and had my doctor prescribe me Prozac as I heard that helps. It did help with the anxiety and irritability. But my brain did not function correctly or feel the same. Its like the Prozac wasnt hitting the same spots in my brain. 

 

After switching to Prozac (I started at 10mg Prozac), i took that for a month. Then again, reduced by halves. I actually have been off Effexor for more than 8 weeks. Its been about 3-4 months off Effexor and 8 weeks of Prozac. I probably should keep better track, but again, I have trouble with organization and simple thing at this time. 

 

I still am having issues. Its slightly better, but my memory is poor and not getting better. My comprehension is not so good. Everything is awful and its stealing my time away. I want to return to school, but I find it pointless because ill just struggle. Its the predicament that is pushing me towards starting 37.5mg of Effexor again. 

 

I didnt like the Effexor because it had its drawbacks and it made me feel foggy and disconnected. And some other issues. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pin,

 

From the information in your last post, you tapered by 50% each time which is a big drop.  This was a very big shock for your brain.

 

How long did you stay on the dose after you went down?    If you do decide to reinstate, only reinstate a small amount to see how it affects you, because your brain has been adjusting during the time you have been off the drug.  You would then need to take it for 4 days to see how that goes before deciding on what to do next.

 

However, my suggestion is to wait until someone who knows more about reinstating comes on and advises you about whether you should reinstate Prozac OR Effexor and what amount to take.

 

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Pin,

I'm sorry you are still having symptoms. You tapered too fast from Effexor and then too fast from Prozac. It sounds like you are thinking of reinstating 37.5mg of Effexor.  As Chessie wrote, since you have been off it for several months, its not a good idea to go back on such a high dose, perhaps 5mg might be enough. But from what you have written, I'm not sure it would help with your current symptoms, but you could try it.

 

See:   About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms   and   Tips for tapering off Effexor (venlafaxine)

 

Did Prozac help with your memory and cognitive issues? Are these the only symptoms you are concerned with now?

 

When was the last time you felt stable and able to function well? When did your current symptoms begin?

 

It sounds like you are recovering, and this will continue over time. How is your diet and lifestyle? You may want to have a look at our

Symptoms and self-care  forum for ideas about how to support recovery.

 

It would be great if you would put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature. Doing this helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts. Here are instructions for how to do it:

 

http://survivinganti...your-signature/

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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